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JOSEPH BIBLE VERSES
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Joseph was Jacob's (Israel's)
11th son. Jacob loved Joseph very much and made him a coat of many colors.
Joseph had dreams that his family would one day bow to him. His brothers were
very jealous and wanted to kill him. Instead, they sold him to some people who
took him to Egypt and sold him to the Pharaoh's highest officer. The officer's
wife told a lie about Joseph and he was put in prison. But God was with Joseph
and made him able to tell what people's dreams meant. The Pharaoh had a dream
that Joseph explained to him and he was let out of the prison and the Pharaoh
made Joseph a very important person in Egypt. Years later there was a famine
(shortage of food) and Joseph's brothers went to Egypt for help. In
the end, the brothers did bow to Joseph, just like in his dream and he saved his
family during the famine. Here is the story in detail:
One day when Joseph was seventeen, he was out feeding the flock with his
brothers Dan, Naphtali, Gad and Asher. He told Israel that the others
were behaving badly. Joseph was Israel's favorite, being the son of
his old age and Israel made Joseph a coat of many colors. When his
brothers saw that Joseph was Israel's favorite, they were jealous and hated
Joseph and never had a kind word to say to him.
Joseph had an awesome dream. He was
so excited about it he wanted to tell others. He told his brothers about it
and they hated him all the more. He explained his dream to them. He said
... We were tying bundles in the field and my bundle stood up and yours all
bowed in respect to mine. His brothers said, That'll be the day when you'll
ever rule over us. And they hated him even more for his dream and for
Joseph had another dream and told it
to his Dad, Israel and his eleven brothers. He dreamt that the sun, the
moon and the eleven stars bowed to him. Israel said, Honestly, do you
really think that I and your mother and your brothers will bow ourselves to
His brothers were jealous, but Israel
kept Joseph's dream in the back of his mind and pondered on it.
Shortly after that, Joseph's brothers
went to feed Israel's flock in Shechem. Israel sent Joseph to check up on
them, almost 50 miles away, to see if everything was alright, and to bring
him word back. A man found Joseph wandering in the field and asked, What
are you looking for?
Joseph said, I'm looking for my
brothers, can you tell me where they're feeding their flocks? The man said
he heard them say they were going to Dothan, which was another 15 miles
further. Joseph found them there, but when they saw Joseph coming from far
off, they made a plan to kill him.
Knowing they were far enough away from
home for anyone to find out, they said, Here comes the dreamer, let's kill
him and throw him in a pit, then we'll say that some wild animal attacked
him, and then we'll see what becomes of his dreams!
Reuben, Joseph's oldest brother, heard
the plan, but didn't agree with it. He said, Let's not kill him, it'll be
enough to just throw him in this pit in the wilderness. Reuben planned to
go back to the pit later to rescue Joseph and return him to their father.
When Joseph reached his brothers, they
grabbed him and took his coat of many colors and threw him into an empty pit
with no water. They sat down to eat and a group of Ishmaelites from Gilead
happened by with their camels, carrying spices and perfumes to Egypt.
Judah said, What do we have to gain by
killing Joseph and hiding his blood? Let's sell him to the Ishmaelites, not
kill him, he's our brother and our flesh.
The others liked the idea of profiting
from their brother, but before they knew it, some tradesmen from Midian
found Joseph, pulled him out of the pit and sold him for 20 pieces of silver
to the Ishmaelites who took him to Egypt.
When Reuben returned to the pit to
rescue Joseph, he was gone. Reuben tore his own clothes in sorrow. He told
his brothers that Joseph was gone and didn't know what to do.
The other brothers killed a goat and
soaked Joseph's coat with the blood. Then they brought it to their Dad,
Israel and asked, Isn't this Joseph's coat?
Israel said, It is my son's coat. A
wild animal has devoured him; Joseph is without a doubt torn to pieces.
Israel tore his clothes and wore sackcloth and mourned for Joseph for a
long, long time. (Sackcloth is a course cloth of goat or camel's hair or of
flax, hemp or cotton, worn as a sign of mourning.)
Israel's children tried to console
him, but he couldn't be comforted. He said, I'll be sad until I die, over
Meanwhile, Joseph was sold again in
Egypt to a man named Potiphar, who was an officer of the Pharaoh and captain
of the guard.
And that's just the beginning of the story. There's much more coming
up in the next several chapters!
thing we knew, Joseph was sold as a slave. His master was an Egyptian named Potiphar, who was an officer of the Pharaoh, and captain of the guard.
As you may have guessed, the Lord
looked after Joseph and he was successful. His master noticed that the Lord
was with him and that everything he did was prosperous.Potiphar
appreciated Joseph and made him manager of all that he had, so the Lord
blessed everything Potiphar had.
He trusted Joseph so much that he
didn't ever check on his own wealth except for what he ate. Joseph was a
good person and well liked.
After a while, Potiphar's wife took an
interest in Joseph and wanted to be unfaithful to her husband Potiphar with
him. When she approached Joseph with her indecent proposal, Joseph said,
No, my master trusts all he has to me. I'm his most valued servant and he
hasn't kept anything from me but you, because you're his wife. How could I
ever do such a thing and sin against God?
Day after day she tried to persuade
him, but he didn't listen to her. Then one day when Joseph went into the
house to do his work, none of the other servants were inside. She caught
him by his shirt, and he loosened out of it and left it in her hand and ran
out. When she saw that he left his shirt, she called the other servants and
told them that her husband brought in a Hebrew to mock them. She said that
Joseph tried to defile her, but she screamed and when he heard her scream he
left his shirt and ran out.
She repeated her lie to Potiphar and
he was very angry. He took Joseph and put him into the prison where the
king's prisoners were held.
But the Lord was still with Joseph,
and made Joseph well liked by the keeper of the prison, who put Joseph in
charge of all the other prisoners. The prison keeper didn't have to worry
about anything with Joseph managing things because the Lord made everything
he did prosper.
It looks like the Lord is going to
take care of Joseph, no matter where he finds himself, but that doesn't mean
there aren't more unusual situations ahead.
THE BOOK OF GENESIS
been following the story in the book of Genesis about Joseph, Israel's son,
who has found himself being done wrong by others and yet found Grace in
God's sight and God took care of him. Let's see if God continues to do so.
The last time, his master Potiphar's wife accused him of seducing her, when
in fact is was quite the opposite. Consequently, Joseph has been thrown in
prison where the king's (Pharaoh's) prisoners were held.
Joseph has the Lord on his side
though, and everywhere he goes, things prosper because he is blessed. The
prison keeper had no worries after putting Joseph in charge of all the
One day the Pharaoh was offended by
his butler and his baker. He was sorely angry at them and ordered that they
be imprisoned where Joseph was being held in jail. There was a night when
both the butler and the baker each had strange dreams. When Joseph saw them
the next morning they both looked sad so he asked them what was wrong. They
told him that they both had dreams, but there was nobody to interpret them.
Joseph said, Don't interpretations belong to God? Tell me your dreams.
The butler began, In my dream there
was a vine with three branches. And it budded and blossomed and grew
clusters of ripe grapes. And Pharaoh's cup was in my hand, so I took the
grapes and pressed them into Pharaoh's cup and put the cup in his hand.
God gave Joseph the gift of
interpreting dreams and he explained to the butler, The three branches are
three days, and within three days Pharaoh will pardon you and give you your
job back. Then you'll serve him just as you did before.
Then Joseph added, Please remember me
with kindness when you are freed and mention me to Pharaoh so I can get out
of here too. I was stolen out of the land of the Hebrews and I haven't done
anything here either to deserve being put into prison.
When the baker heard that the
interpretation of the butler's dream turned out so well, he told Joseph his
dream, saying, In my dream I had three white baskets on my head and in the
top basket there was all kinds of pastries for Pharaoh, and the birds ate
them out of the basket.
The news wasn't so wonderful for the
baker. Joseph said, The three baskets are three days, and within three days
Pharaoh will cut off your head and hang you on a tree and the birds will eat
your flesh off of you. The baker must have had the wrong kind of daily
bread ... ;)
Three days later, it was Pharaoh's
birthday and he made a feast for all his servants. He gave the butler his
job back, but he hung the baker, just as Joseph had interpreted ... However,
the butler forgot all about mentioning Joseph to the Pharaoh.
In the next
chapter, the Pharaoh himself
had a dream that needs interpretation. Who do you think will fit the bill
for that job?
THE BOOK OF GENESIS
In our last
chapter, we had Joseph in the Pharaoh's prison, in
charge of all the prisoners. Joseph interpreted some dreams for the
Pharaoh's butler and baker who were in the jail with him. It was a happy
ending for the butler but for the baker, things didn't turn out so well.
Joseph asked the butler to put in a good word for him with Pharaoh when he
got his old job back, but alas ... The butler forgot all about it until ...
It's been two whole years since the
butler was given back his position, and Joseph is still in the prison. It
came to pass that Pharaoh had two dreams, and he was troubled about what
these dreams meant. He called for all the magicians and wise men of Egypt
and told them his dreams, but none of them could interpret them for Pharaoh.
Finally, the butler remembered
Joseph. He told Pharaoh how Joseph interpreted his and the baker's dreams
and how things turned out exactly as he explained, so Pharaoh had Joseph
brought out of the prison to him. He told Joseph that nobody could
interpret his dreams but he had heard that Joseph could. Joseph said, It
isn't me who can interpret them, but God will give you an answer to ease
Pharaoh told Joseph his dreams. In my
dream, I was standing on the bank of the river and seven fat cows came up
out of the river and fed in the meadow. Then seven scrawny cows, such
skinny cows I have never seen in Egypt, came up out of the river and ate up
the first seven fat cows. But when they had eaten them, they were still as
scrawny as before, so I woke up. When I fell back to sleep, I saw in my
dream seven fat ears of corn sprang up on one stalk. Then seven withered,
and blasted with the east wind sprung up after them. The seven withered
ears devoured the seven fat ears.
Joseph said, Both dreams have
the same meaning. God has showed you what He's about to do. The seven fat
cows are seven years and the seven fat ears are seven years. They are one
and the same. The seven scrawny cows and the seven withered ears will be
seven years of famine. That's what I meant when I said God has showed you
what He's about to do.
There will be seven years of great
plenty throughout Egypt and after that there will be seven years of famine.
All the plenty will be forgotten in Egypt and the famine will be so serious
that it will consume the land. Because of how terrible it will be, is the
reason why you had two dreams about it. God has prepared it to happen and
it will come to pass.
Pharaoh should look for a person who
is cautious and wise and put him in charge over the land of Egypt. Then
hire people to store up one fifth of what the land produces during the seven
good years. That food will be for the seven years of famine, so that the
land of Egypt can survive.
Pharaoh and all his servants believed
Joseph's interpretation. Pharaoh said to Joseph, Since God has shown you
all this, there isn't anyone as cautious and wise as you are. You will be
in charge and by your ideas my people will be ruled. Only in the throne
will I be greater than you.
Pharaoh took off his ring and put in
on Joseph's hand, dressed him in royal clothes and put a gold chain around
his neck. Joseph rode in the chariot behind Pharaoh's and people bowed as
he passed. Pharaoh made Joseph ruler and said nobody will do anything
without Joseph's permission in all the land of Egypt.
Pharaoh gave Joseph a wife named
Asenath and he traveled all over Egypt. Joseph was thirty years old now.
The seven years of plenty produced abundantly and Joseph gathered up so much
food to store that he stopped keeping track of it because there was so much.
Joseph had two sons before the famine
came. He named the firstborn Manasseh, which means Forgetting, because he
said God made him forget all his labor and his father's family. He named
the second Ephraim, which means, Fruitful, because he said God has made him
fruitful in the land of his affliction.
The seven years of plenty ended, and
when the seven years of famine began, but there was food in the land of
Egypt. When people asked Pharaoh for food, he sent them to Joseph and told
them to do what he said. The famine covered the whole earth and people from
all other countries came to Egypt to Joseph to buy corn because it was so
So almost fifteen years has passed
since Joseph was sold into the land of Egypt, and has become a very
prominent man in the land. People from countries all over are coming to buy
food from him. Now speaking of dreams, remember Joseph's dreams about his
brothers bowing before him? Who do you think will show up in Egypt looking
for food and end up bowing before him? Oh, my! God sure does have a way of
balancing things, doesn't He? Look for the beginning of that story in
the next chapter!
THE BOOK OF GENESIS
Let's refresh our
mind's a lil, shall we? Joseph interpreted the Pharaoh's dreams. For his
blessed insight, he was put in charge of the land of Egypt, second only to
Pharaoh. There were seven years of plenty and Joseph stored food for Egypt
for the anticipated famine. Then the famine struck the whole earth. People
from other countries came to Joseph in Egypt to buy corn.
Right about now you're probably
wondering how Israel and Joseph's brothers are faring back in Canaan, so
let's take a look in on them and find out. As we said once before, you can
have all the money in the world, but money can't make the land grow food ...
however, it can buy it. Now, when Israel heard that there was corn in
Egypt, he said to his sons, Don't just stand there staring at one another,
there's corn in Egypt. Go down there and buy some so we don't starve to
death. So Joseph's ten brothers left for Egypt, but Israel didn't let
Benjamin, Joseph's youngest brother, go with them in case anything bad
When Joseph's brothers got
there, they bowed down in front of him with their faces to the ground.
Joseph knew who they were, but they didn't recognize him. He didn't reveal
his identity to them, but talked through an interpreter to them and asked
roughly, Where are you from? They answered him, From the land of Canaan to
Joseph remembered the dreams he had
about them, and said to them, You're spies! You've come to see the weakness
of the land. They replied, No, my lord, your servants have come to buy
food. We are all the sons of one man, we are honest men, your servants
aren't spies. Joseph repeated himself, No, to see the weakness of the land
is why you're here. They told Joseph, Your servants are twelve brothers,
the sons of one man in the land of Canaan. The youngest stayed home with
our father, and one has died.
Joseph said to them, Prove that you
aren't spies by bringing your youngest brother here. One of you will go and
get him and the rest will stay in prison until they return. He put all of
them together in jail for three days. On the third day he said to them, Do
this and live, because I respect God. If you are honest men, let one of
your brothers be held in prison. Go take corn to your houses, but bring your
youngest brother back to me, then you will prove your innocence and you will
In their minds, they were remembering
what they did to Joseph and knew that it was coming back to haunt them.
Thinking that Joseph could not understand them because of the interpreter,
they said to one another, We are so guilty about what we did to Joseph. We
saw the anguish in his soul when he pleaded with us and we wouldn't listen.
That's why this is happening. Reuben said, I warned you not to sin against
him, but you wouldn't listen, so now we're paying for it.
Joseph turned his back to them so they
couldn't see his face, and wept. Then he faced them again and tied Simeon
up in front of them all. He gave orders to his servants to fill their sacks
with corn and put every man's money back in his sack along with food for the
They left for Canaan and when they
came to the inn on the way, one of them opened his sack to get food for his
donkey, and saw his money. He said to his brothers, The money that I used
to pay for the corn is still in my sack! This worried them terribly, and
they said to one another, Why has God done this to us?
When they got home, they told Israel
everything that happened, and when they emptied their sacks, each and every
man's money was back in his sack. When they and their father saw it, they
were all afraid. Israel said, Joseph is gone, Simeon is gone and you will
take Benjamin away too. All these things are against me.
And Reuben said, Kill my two sons if I
don't bring Benjamin home to you. Let me take him and I will bring him back
again. But Israel couldn't part with Benjamin, even with Reuben's solemn
promise. Israel said, My son will not go down with you. His brother is
dead and he's left alone. If anything happens to him, you'll send me in
sorrow to my grave.
If you stop and think about this
story, not many people would have blamed Joseph if he put all his brothers
in prison and left it at that. He could have sold all of them as slaves,
just as they did to him. He could have done many things in revenge of how
they wronged him. But this man, blessed by God through the many years since
it happened, and through many circumstances, both fortunate and unfortunate,
chose to act differently. We'll continue this story in our next
In our last
chapter, Joseph's brothers came to Egypt to buy food from Joseph, but they
didn't recognize him. He accused them of being spies and kept his brother
Simeon imprisoned while the other brothers returned home to get their
youngest brother Benjamin. Joseph told them to bring him back in order to
prove that they weren't spies. But alas, in fear of losing another son,
Israel wouldn't let Benjamin return with them.
The famine remained severe in the
land, and when Israel and his family ate up all the food that they brought
back from Egypt, Israel told them to go back to buy a little more food.
Judah repeated to Israel what Joseph
said before they left Egypt. You will not see my face unless your youngest
brother is with you. If you'll send him with us, we'll go and buy food, but
if you won't, we won't go. In anguish, Israel said, Why did you do me so
wrong by telling the man you had another brother? They replied, He asked us
where we were from and about our family. He asked, Is your father still
alive? Do you have another brother? We certainly didn't know that he'd
say, Bring your brother here to me.
Judah added, Send Benjamin with me and
we'll go so we can buy food, then we and all our children can stay alive and
not starve to death. I guarantee I'll bring him back or the blame will be
on me for ever. If you had let us go before, we'd be back by now.
Israel conceded and said, If it must
be, then take the best fruits in the land and take the man a present, a
little balm, honey, spices, myrrh, nuts and almonds and twice as much money
as you brought back in your sacks. Maybe it was a mistake. Take Benjamin
and go again to the man, and may God Almighty give you mercy in his eyes so
he'll send Simeon and Benjamin back home. If I am left childless, I am left
So they did as Israel said, and went
back to Egypt and stood before Joseph. And when Joseph saw Benjamin with
them, he told his steward to bring them to his home and make a feast so they
could eat with him.
They were all afraid being brought to
Joseph's house. They thought they'd be accused of stealing the money that
was returned in their sacks and they'd be taken prisoners.
When they arrived at Joseph's door
they explained to the steward that when they were returning home to Canaan
and stopped at the inn on the way, they were surprised to see that the money
they used to pay for the food was replaced in their sacks, so they brought
it back with them again along with more money to buy food.
The steward said, Peace be with you,
don't be afraid. Your God and the God of your father, has given you
treasure in your sacks. I received your money. And he brought Simeon out
to them. Then he brought them into Joseph's house and gave them water.
They washed their feet and the steward gave their mules food.
They got their present ready to give
Joseph. When Joseph got home, they brought him the present and bowed
themselves to him. Joseph asked how they were and said, Is your father
well, the old man that you talked about? Is he still alive?
They answered, Our father is alive and
well. And they bowed again in respect. Then Joseph noticed his brother
Benjamin, his mother's son, and said, Is this your younger brother that you
spoke of? And he said to Benjamin, God be gracious to you, my son.
Joseph hurried away to where he
couldn't be seen because his soul was so moved at the sight of his little
brother that he wanted to cry. He went to his room and wept there, then he
composed himself, washed his face, returned to his brothers and told the
steward to set out the meal.
Joseph sat separately from his
brothers, and the Egyptians that ate with him sat separately because the
Egyptians thought it was a disgrace to eat with Hebrews.
The brothers sat according to their age, from the
firstborn to the youngest. They marveled at each other and Joseph sent
their servings to them, but Benjamin's serving was five times as much as any
of the others. And they all drank and had a joyous time together.
There is relief in the air as the brothers are confident that they've proven
they aren't spies. Now they can return to Israel with Benjamin and
Simeon safe and sound ... but the story isn't over yet. We'll find out what
happened after that in our next chapter.
THE BOOK OF GENESIS
The last thing we talked about was a meal that Joseph had
for his brothers when they brought Benjamin down to Egypt to prove that they
weren't spies and to get Simeon released from prison. They all ate drank
and were merry. End of story? Nope.
Joseph ordered his steward to fill his
brother's sacks again with as much food as they could carry and again to put
every man's money back. But this time he said, Put my silver cup in the
youngest one's sack with his money.
When morning had broken, the brothers
were sent on their way. When they were outside of the city, but not too far
away, Joseph told his steward to follow after them and ask them why they
repaid good with evil by stealing his silver cup.
The steward caught up to them and said
what Joseph rehearsed to him. They answered, How can you say such a thing?
God forbid that your servants would do what you are accusing us of. The
money that we found in our sacks the first time, we brought back to you, why
would we steal silver or gold out of your lord's house? Whoever you find it
with, let him die and the rest of us will be your slaves. But the steward
said, Whoever is found with it will be my servant, and the rest of you will
They each quickly put their sack on
the ground and opened them. The steward began with the oldest and finished
with the youngest, and found the silver cup in Benjamin's sack. They tore
their clothes in sorrow and returned with the steward to the city. They
went back to Joseph's house and fell to the ground in front of him.
And Judah said, How can we prove our
innocence? God has found out the sin of your servants, both us and the one
who had the cup. Joseph said, God forbid that I should do this, but the man
in whose hand the cup is found, he will be my servant. As for the rest of
you, go in peace back to your father.
Then Judah, remembered that he
promised Israel Benjamin's safe return. He pleaded with Joseph, and said,
Oh my lord, let your servant explain, I beg you, and please don't be angry.
You asked us if we had a father or a brother, and we said yes, we have a
father, an old man, and a child of his old age, a little one; and his
brother is dead. His father loves him so. And when you said to bring him
down, we told you he can't leave his father or his father would die. But
you said, unless you bring him, you'll never see my face again. We told our
father. He said, Go again, and buy us a little food. So we told him we
couldn't return without our youngest brother, as you said. And my father
said to us, You know that my wife bare me two sons, and the one went away
from me and I never saw him again, and if you take this one from me too, and
something bad happens to him, you'll bring down my gray hairs with sorrow to
the grave. If I go back to my father and the boy isn't with us, being that
his soul lives for the boy's life, he'll die of sorrow. I guaranteed him
that I would bring the boy back home to him or I would be to blame for
ever. I beg you now, let me become a slave for you and let the boy go back
home with his brothers. How can I return to my father without him? I
wouldn't be able to bear watching him suffer.
Well, things sure have changed over
the years, haven't they? It was Judah who had the idea to sell Jacob as a
slave in the first place, and here he is with a truly touching plea to
become a slave himself to avoid anguishing his father. How do you think
Joseph will react to his brother's request? Ah, you'll have to read on
to find out the answer to that!
THE BOOK OF GENESIS
I bet ya can't wait to find out what
happens between Joseph and all his brothers, can you? Well, let's review
what's been happening. There was a terrible famine. Joseph's brothers had
to buy food directly from Joseph, who they didn't recognize, however he
recognized them. He had his steward hide his silver cup in Benjamin's sack
so he could use this to keep his little brother with him. He told them that
Benjamin would become his servant, but Judah made a tender plea to let him
take Benjamin's place, to avoid breaking their father's heart. That brings
us up to date.
As you can well imagine, being the
favorite and then hearing the pain your father is enduring would certainly
tug on anyone's heart strings. And that at any moment, you have the power
to ease his pain, and indeed, bring him immeasurable joy by revealing that
you're alive, was no doubt flooding Joseph's mind.
Finally, he couldn't stand it any
longer. He broke down and cried in front of everyone. He ordered all his
servants to leave while he talked to his brothers, but his sentiment was so
deep that everyone could hear him.
He said, I'm Joseph, Is my father
still alive? His brothers were so shocked that they couldn't answer. And
Joseph said, come close to me. I'm Joseph, your brother, who you sold into
Egypt. Don't be sad or angry with yourselves. God sent me here to save
peoples lives. The famine has been in the land for two years now, but there
are five more years coming with no food. God knew what was going to happen,
so He sent me to save future generations in the earth and to save your lives
by a great deliverance. So you see, it wasn't you that sent me here, it was
God. And Pharaoh made me a ruler in all the land of Egypt.
Now go to my father and tell him to
come to me quickly, and you and your families and your flocks and herds will
live in the land of Goshen and be near me. I'll take care of you and the
famine won't hurt you.
Joseph could tell that they recognized
him again and he hugged Benjamin's neck and Benjamin hugged him back, and
they wept. Then he hugged all his brothers and there was peace between
The news spread through Pharaoh's
kingdom and it made Pharaoh and his servants happy that Joseph's brothers
were there. The Pharaoh told Joseph to bring his father and all his family
down to live in Egypt and gave them all gifts, but Benjamin got the most.
Joseph sent them on their way and knew that the whole thing was an unusual
and emotional situation, so he told them not to be angry on the way.
When they got home and told Israel
that Joseph was still alive, he didn't believe them and his heart was heavy,
but when he saw the wagons that Joseph sent to bring him back, Israel's
spirit revived and he said, My son Joseph IS still alive. I will go
and see him before I die.
A happy ending is always a pleasant
thing, but even more so is when God works through people. It's always
inspiring and we can all find analogies in our own lives of when we were put
into situations that were troublesome, but after all was said and done, we
saw God's purpose in it. Never forget to give Him glory for His infinite
THE BOOK OF GENESIS
CHAPTER 46 &
In this chapter we join Israel as he takes his entire family to
Egypt to live, where he has just learned that Joseph is still alive and
rules over Egypt for Pharaoh. Israel stopped on the way in Beersheba, the
place where he grew up, where he received his blessing from his father
Isaac, and where God had spoken to both Abraham and Isaac before. He
offered sacrifices to God there and God spoke to him in a vision of the
God said to Israel, I am God, the God
of your father. Don't be afraid to go down into Egypt, I will make you a
great nation there. I will go with you and I will bring you back again and
Joseph will put his hand on your eyes.
If you remember from the end of our
last story, Israel wants to see Joseph before he dies. When God said that
Joseph will put his hand on your eyes, He was assuring Israel that he would
see Joseph again before he died. (Joseph would be the one to close Israel's
eyes when he dies.)
So Israel left Beersheba and his sons
took him and their children and their wives in wagons that Pharaoh had sent
to bring them. All the people who came from Israel who were in Egypt were
70 souls. Israel sent Judah ahead of them to get directions to Goshen,
where Joseph said they would live and he met them there.
When Joseph saw Israel, you can
imagine it was quite a reunion. Joseph embraced Israel and cried for a long
time. Israel said, Now let me die, since I have seen your face, because you
are still alive.
Now Joseph knew that the Egyptians
didn't like shepherds. He told his brothers that he would go and tell the
Pharaoh that all his fathers family had arrived in Egypt, that they're
shepherds and that they've brought all their herds and flocks and everything
that they own with them. He told them that when the Pharaoh asks them what
their occupation is, they should say, Your servants trade has been about
cattle from our childhood until now, both us, and our fathers.
Pharaoh didn't seem to mind that they
were shepherds. In fact, when they told him their occupation and that they
didn't have any pasture for their flocks because the famine was so bad in
Canaan, Pharaoh told Joseph to let them live in the best of the land, in the
land of Goshen, and if any of them were good enough, to make them rulers
over his own cattle.
Joseph gave them the land of Goshen,
which is in the land of Rameses, the best of the land, as Pharaoh ordered.
He made sure they were all comfortable and fed, even though the famine was
starting to affect Egypt.
How will Joseph manage things now? He has just brought his entire
family down to Egypt and settled them into the best of the land, but the
food that he had the Egyptians store during the seven years of plenty is
running out now.
THE BOOK OF GENESIS
In this chapter we're joining Joseph in Egypt, and the seven years of famine
are beginning to take its toll on the food supplies that Joseph had stored
in the previous seven years of plenty.
Joseph took all the money that people
paid Joseph for food to Pharaoh, and when everyone's money was spent, all
the Egyptians came to Joseph and begged for more food. Joseph said, If you
have no money, trade your cattle for food. So Joseph gave them bread in
exchange for horses and flocks and herds and mules and it lasted the people
for that year.
They returned to Joseph again and
said, It's no secret that our money is gone and you have our herds. There
isn't anything left but ourselves and our land. Buy us and our land for
bread and we'll be servants to Pharaoh. Give us seed, so we can plant and
live and the land won't be barren.
So Joseph bought the entire land of
Egypt for Pharaoh. He spread the people out from one end of Egypt to the
other. Only the priests and their land were not bought. Joseph said to the
people, Today I have bought you and your land for Pharaoh. I give you seed
to plant in the land. When it is harvested, you will give one fifth to
Pharaoh and keep the rest for your own, for seed and for food for your
The Egyptians were grateful. Joseph
made it a law that Pharaoh get one fifth of their increase, except for the
land of the priests only.
Joseph's Dad, Israel lived in the land of Goshen, and his family grew
remarkably. He lived in Egypt for seventeen years and the time was
getting close for him to die. He called Joseph and made him promise
that he would not bury him in Egypt, but in the burying place of his
father's. Joseph gave Israel his solemn promise.
Now we all know from what we've read
so far, that when a father died in those times, things seem to get very
THE BOOK OF GENESIS
Traditionally in Bible times, the oldest born son inherits the birthright
and the blessing of his father. Now, that doesn't mean that the rest of the
children are out of luck but the position as the head of the family and the
majority of the wealth, whether it be flocks or herds or family business or
money, went to the eldest son. The eldest son also acquired the best of the
blessings which was like a prophetic prayer for God to shower the receiver
with an abundant life.
Now, Joseph heard that Israel was
sick, so he took his two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim with him to see his
father. When Israel heard that Joseph was coming to see him, he gathered up
enough strength to sit up.
He told Joseph that God appeared to
him and blessed him in Bethel, and that He would make him a multitude of
people and give the land of Canaan to his descendants for an everlasting
Then Israel said, Your two sons are
mine, just as Reuben and Simeon are mine. Any children that you have after
them will be yours.
Israel's could not see because of his
old age and he asked Joseph, Who is with you? And Joseph answered, They are
my sons. Israel told Joseph to bring them near so that he could bless
them. He hugged and kissed them and said to Joseph, I thought I'd never see
your face again, and look, God has shown me your children too. Joseph bowed
down in front of Israel, then took his sons and set Manasseh near Israel's
right hand and Ephraim near his left hand.
But Israel reached over and purposely
put his right hand on the younger son Ephraim's head, and his left hand on
the firstborn Manasseh's head. And he blessed Joseph, and said God, before
whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac did walk, the God which fed me all my life
long unto this day, the Angel which redeemed me from all evil, bless the
lads; and let my name be named on them, and the name of my fathers Abraham
and Isaac; and let them grow into a multitude in the midst of the earth.
When Joseph noticed that Israel's
right hand was on Ephraim's head, it upset him and he held up Israel's hand
to move it to Manasseh's head. Joseph said, Not so, my father, this is the
firstborn; put your right hand on his head. But Israel refused and said, I
know it, my son, I know it. He will also become a people and he'll be
great, but truly, his younger brother will be greater than him and his
descendants will become a multitude of nations.
Then Israel set Ephraim in front of
Manasseh and said to Joseph, God make you like Ephraim and like Manasseh.
He was telling him that even though he was younger than all but Benjamin, he
would be before them.
And Israel said to Joseph, I am dying,
but God will be with you and bring you to the land of your fathers again.
Also, I have given you one share more than your brothers.
And now here's a little
Crumb to finish with. Notice that Isaac was younger than Ishmael, and Jacob
was younger than Esau. Both the younger sons received the birthright. Now
Israel has chosen to give the firstborn's blessing to the Ephraim instead of
Manasseh, and to Joseph instead of Reuben. Just an interesting little fact
to think about. Jesus said, There are last which shall be first,
In the next chapter Israel blesses
each of his twelve sons. Will there be surprises ahead for them?
THE BOOK OF GENESIS
We'll start off with a couple of little interesting tidbits. In Bible times, there weren't formal distributions of property when
a person died, as it is today which are called a last will and testament.
Back then, before a dad died, he gave blessings to his children and usually
passed the birthright (the major portion of the inheritance and power in the
family also a spiritual power) down to the firstborn son.
Also, you may be wondering what all
the hype is about the firstborn. Over and over we've read about it and it
still may not be clear as to what's so exceptional about them. One way to
describe why they are so special is to use analogies. The first of
something is always the purest. Is a freshly brewed cup of coffee better
than one from the bottom of the pot? Each time gold is melted it becomes
weaker. When food grows on a plant, the first harvest is better quality
because the plant is younger and stronger. Remember God was pleased with
Abel's gift, a firstling of his flock. Back in Bible times, people
were much more concerned about things of this nature. Purity was something
that was respected and the "firstfruits" of anything was special to God.
Now, back to the birthright going to
the firstborn, we've seen a few instances where things haven't exactly
happened that way, and in our last segment, we found that Israel won't be
following that tradition either. That doesn't mean that he's going against
God, because remember, these people who we've been talking about who have
deviated from this custom, have been God inspired. So let's find out what
happened. In other words ... God chooses whom He will.
Israel said to all of his sons, Gather
yourselves together and I'll tell you what will happen to you in the last
days. Now what do you suppose he meant by that ... last days?
Frequently in the Bible, the End Times is referred to as the last days. If you guessed
that he was going to tell them what would happen to their descendants
throughout history until the end of this world, then you're a pretty good
continued ... Reuben, you are my firstborn,
my might, and the beginning of my strength, the excellency of dignity, and
the excellency of power (his firstfruits). You are unstable as water and
you will not do extremely well because you went up to your father's bed.
Israel is referring to Reuben having slept with his dad's concubine years
Simeon and Levi are alike, cruelty is
in their character. Israel was remembering when they killed all the men in
Shechem. He went on, O my soul, let me not be remembered for what they did,
because in their anger they killed and without advice they destroyed an
entire city. Cursed be their anger, for it was terrible and their fury was
cruel. I will separate them and scatter them in Israel.
Judah, you are the one who your
brothers will praise. You will be stronger than your enemies. Your
brothers will bow down before you. Judah is a lion's young, protected from
the prey by the old lion. Who will bother him? The power will not leave
Judah, and no lawgiver will come from Judah until Shiloh (the One who is
sent - Jesus) comes; and to him will the gathering of the people be. (This
is prophecy of the Messiah.)
Zebulun will live at the seaside and
he shall be a harbor for ships.
Issachar is like a strong mule slumped
down with two loads on either side. And he saw that rest was good and the
was willing to become a servant to authority.
Dan will judge his people. He will be
a serpent that bites the horse heels so that its rider will fall backwards.
As for Gad, a troop will overcome him,
but in the end, he will win.
Asher will be rich, and he will
produce kingly luxuries.
Naphtali is a deer set free, he
giveth goodly words. goodly = comely, handsome, considerable.
will be like a fruitful branch by a well, whose branches grow over the
wall. You have been deeply grieved and hated, but you were strong and your
arms and hands were made strong by God who will bless you with abundant
blessings. The blessings I give you are greater than the blessings of my
forefathers unto the utmost bound of the
everlasting hillsthey will be on you who
was separated from your brothers.
Benjamin will be like a hunting wolf.
In the morning he will devour the prey, and at night he will
divide the spoil.
these are the twelve tribes of Israel. These are the blessings that he gave
them. And he told them to bury him in the cave in the field of Ephron where
Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebekah, and Leah were buried. And when he had
finished talking to his sons, he pulled his feet up into the bed and died.
And Israel was gathered to his people.
For some of the children of Israel,
things sound very promising according to the blessings they received from
their father while others don't sound so honorable. In any case, these are
God's chosen people and we'll just have to keep reading on to find out
exactly what the future holds for each of them.
THE BOOK OF GENESIS
In the last chapter we read
about the blessings that Israel gave to his twelve children.In this
chapter we will
complete the book of Genesis. That's right ... If you have followed along
with us from the first study
... You will have completed the Book of Genesis after this study.
Let's begin ...
When we ended our last Daily Bread story, Israel had just died. All of
his children were with him when he died. Remember that the Lord told
him that Joseph would be with him at his death, back in Chapter 46:
I will go down with thee into Egypt; and I will also surely bring thee up
again: and Joseph shall put his hand upon thine
Joseph loved Israel
very much. He fell on his dad's face and wept on him and kissed him. He
had Israel embalmed and the Egyptians mourned for him for 70 days. After
that Joseph spoke to Pharaoh and asked him if he could go and bury his
father in Canaan.
The Pharaoh consented and all of
Pharaoh's servants and all the elders of the land of Egypt went with him.
All of Joseph's family and his brothers and Israel's family went, only the
children and the livestock stayed back in the land of Goshen. Chariots and
horsemen accompanied them as well. Many people mourned at the death of
Israel and when the people of Canaan saw them coming, they remarked about
how terribly sad it must have been to the Egyptians. Israel was buried in
the cave in the field of Ephron, as he willed.
Joseph returned to Egypt with all his
brothers and all those that went with him to Canaan. Then Joseph's brothers
began to worry that because Israel was gone, Joseph would now want revenge
for all that they did to him. They said to him, Before he died, our father
told us to tell you to forgive us for all the evil we did to you.
Joseph cried when they said this. His
brothers all bowed in front of him and said, We are your servants. Joseph
was kind in his heart and told them, Don't be afraid, Am I God? You wanted
to harm me, but God had other plans. He made it all turn out good, so that
many people were saved because of it. So don't worry, I will take care of
you and your little ones.
Joseph lived 110 years and he saw his
children's children's children. And he said to his brothers. I am going to
die. God will be with you and bring you back to the land that He promised
to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. He made his brothers promise that they would
take his bones out of Egypt. Joseph died, and they embalmed him, and he was
put in a coffin in Egypt.
Congratulations friends! You have
just finished studying the story of Joseph! It has been a wonderful
and enlightening journey!
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